Asthma and Allergy Research Review, April-June 2017

 

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America will recap some of the top research on allergies and asthma every quarter. Here is a look at studies reported between April and June 2017. Learn why some children may not respond to asthma treatments, how testosterone may affect asthma and more.

Gene Study Finds Why Some Children May Have Difficult-to-Treat Asthma

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Corticosteroids, a common type of long-term control medicine, are often used to treat asthma. But it does not control asthma symptoms in some children.

In the first study of its kind, researchers found a gene malfunction in some children with asthma. It may explain why corticosteroids don’t relieve symptoms in some children. The gene VNN-1 helps communicate genetic information that plays a role in asthma. If this gene doesn’t work, the medicine may not relieve symptoms.1

Why is this important?

Some children may have asthma that is hard to treat because of a gene that isn’t working properly. This can make it harder for them to keep their asthma under control. They may have more asthma flares and lower quality of life. This study may help experts find better tests and treatments to help these children manage their asthma better.

Medicine Used to Treat Asthma Is Found to Help Cold Contact Urticaria

Researchers found that the medicine omalizumab worked to treat a form of hives called cold contact urticaria.2 This medicine is normally used to treat severe persistent asthma. Cold contact urticaria is a reaction to cold. Red, itchy hives can appear on the skin, but it can also cause a reaction in your entire body. In some cases, it can lead to a severe life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

Why is this important?

Cold contact urticaria can be dangerous and severe for some. Omalizumab could be an effective treatment for reducing symptoms in those with more severe forms of the disease.

Asthma Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Findings from this study show a link between asthma and the risk of developing Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.3 The higher risk for Crohn’s disease applied to all age groups. But the risk for ulcerative colitis was only higher for children under 17 and older adults over 40.

Why is this important?

People with asthma who have chronic gastrointestinal symptoms should see a doctor right away to see if they have one of these bowel diseases.

Asthma Could Raise Risk of Heart Disease

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This study looked at whether asthma increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).4 Researchers combined data from multiple studies from 2000 to 2015. Both asthma and CHD involve inflammation, so experts believe this may be why they could be linked.

The researchers found people with asthma may be more 1.42 times more likely to develop CHD. The risk is higher for women.

Why is this important?

People with asthma should talk to their doctor about CHD.

Testosterone May Be Why More Women Have Asthma

For the first time, international researchers found a link between testosterone and asthma.5 The study showed that testosterone may protect men from developing asthma. This would explain why women are twice as likely to get asthma after puberty. The study shows testosterone keeps a type of immune cell from triggering allergic asthma.

Why is this important?

This finding could lead to more ways of treating asthma, especially in women.

A Lack of a Certain Protein Linked to Eczema

Eczema is an itchy, scaly, red rash that can show up on the face, hands, arms, legs and other parts of the body. The cause of eczema is not known. But researchers are getting closer to finding the cause. In a recent study, they found that a loss of a protein called filaggrin can be involved in triggering eczema.6

This protein is a key part of the skin. It helps create a natural barrier that keeps skin hydrated. The study found 17 proteins that changed when filaggrin was absent.

Why is this important?

This finding could help experts find the cause to eczema and new, more effective treatments.

Medical Review September 2017.

It is important to stay up-to-date on news about asthma and allergies. By joining our community and following our blog, you will receive news about research and treatments. Our community also provides an opportunity to connect with other patients who manage these conditions for support.

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References
1. Gene Discovery Sheds Light on 'Difficult-to-Treat' Asthma. (2017). Enewsletter.cincinnatichildrens.org. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://enewsletter.cincinnatic...cult-to-treat-asthma2. Metz, M., Schütz, A., Weller, K., Gorczyza, M., Zimmer, S., & Staubach, P. et al. (2017). 
2. Omalizumab is effective in cold urticaria—results of a randomized placebo-controlled trialJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://www.jacionline.org/arti...(17)30516-X/abstract
3. Kuenzig, M., Barnabe, C., Seow, C., Eksteen, B., Negron, M., & Rezaie, A. et al. (2017). Asthma Is Associated With Subsequent Development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Population-based Case–Control StudyClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://www.cghjournal.org/arti...(17)30320-8/abstract
4. Liu, H., Fu, Y., & Wang, K. (2017). Asthma and risk of coronary heart diseaseAnnals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://www.annallergy.org/arti...(17)30210-7/fulltext
5. Laffont, S., Blanquart, E., Savignac, M., Cénac, C., Laverny, G., & Metzger, D. et al. (2017). Androgen signaling negatively controls group 2 innate lymphoid cellsJem.rupress.org. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://jem.rupress.org/content...7/05/05/jem.20161807
6.  Elias, M., Long, H., Newman, C., Wilson, P., West, A., McGill, P., Wu, K., Donaldson, M. and Reynolds, N. (2018). Proteomic analysis of filaggrin deficiency identifies molecular signatures characteristic of atopic eczema. Retrieved 18 September 2017, from http://www.jacionline.org/arti...(17)30471-2/abstract

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